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tv   Dateline NBC  NBC  July 31, 2009 9:00pm-11:00pm EDT

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tonight, dramatic revelat n revelations about the day michael jackson died from inside his mansion. >> dr. murray screaming, yelling. >> we learn what police say jackson's personal doctor has told them he did. was he taking a risk? >> if you use propofol anywhere but the hospital you are rolling the dice? >> it's russian roulette. >> we know he worked to revive the singer. >> the doctor gave him cpr trying to get him to breathe on his own. >> was it an effort doomed to fail? >> you needore than cpr? or was the pop legend's death years in the making?
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hear what insiders tell us. >> there were several times i had to literally carry him back to his hotel room and put him in bed. >> did michael jackson have to die? and will anyone face charges? exclusive details on michael jackson inside the final hours. >> she is the person that you see that you would want to be. >> they were a gorgeous couple. >> fame, power, money. >> he was football royalty. she was expecting their first child. >> the baby was moving, and she said, come and feel my tummy. >> he felt happy. just being with her. >> then a crime that stunned the city, the beaming mother to be, gunned down in her own home. >> to see bullet holes in the floor where my sister was murdered. that was terrible. >> so full of love and life. who would want her dead? soon, a clue, anonymous letters spilling secrets.
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>> they were describing the fact that he was seeing many women at the same time. >> other women? did someone want her out of the way? >> jealousy, that has to be gel see. >> a mother to be killed. and ape mother of three who was not what she seemed. dangerous liasons. >> thank you for joining us. i'm ann curry. new developments now in the investigation into what killed michael jackson. the tale is emerging from the lapd, new information about jackson's lifestyle from insiders and revelations about what his personal doctor did or did not do in the moments before he stopped breathing. among the questions now, could michael jackson have been saved? here is josh mankowitz.
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>> these will be my final show performances in london. this will be it. this is it. when i say "this is it" it really means this is it. >> he was more right than he or any of us knew. >> this is really it. this is the final, this is -- the final curtain call. okay? this is it. and see you in july. >> but he would never make it to july. michael jackson would have been taking those curtain calls this week. he was scheduled to have been on last night and tomorrow night. by now we would have heard about the songs and the dance numbers and the critics would have decided if jackson, after a long layoff still had it. >> hold for applause. hold for applause. >> one day in june changed everything. >> he had rehearsed late into the night the evening before. the morning of june 25th, the
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star's doctor conrad murray found jackson in bed at his los angeles mansion. kai chase was working there as a personal chef. >> around 12:05, 12:10, dr. murray runs down to the top of the stairs, the stairwell that went into the kitchen area where i was and screams "hurry, go get prince. get security. get prince." i said "prince hurry." dr. murray is screaming, yelling. maybe something wrong with your dad. >> jackson had stopped breathing and had only a weak pulse. an ambulance rushed hem to a hospital. but doctors couldn't revive him. michael jackson was pronounced dead later that day. he was only 50 years old. >> did anybody witness what happened? >> no, just the doctor, sir. the doctor has been the only one here. >> it was a final curtain call that no one wanted and only a few expected. but what exactly happened? the lapd and l.a. county
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coroner's office are both investigating. to night you will hear the latest on where the investigation is headed on the doctor and the drug at the center of awful this, on what happened in the room where michael jackson died, and what didn't. >> we are certainly interviewing doctors, certainly interviewing friends, certainly trying to get an understanding of what role drugs may have played in the life of mr. jackson and were any drugs illegal or illicitly obtained or used. >> since jackson's death investigators have been looking for clues, everywhere from the car his personal doctor was driving to the house where the star was living. inside the house, investigators found what looked like jackson's private pharmacy, a collection of medicines, some with labels, some without. sources tell "dateline" that all of it led police to at least seven medical professionals. >> we are executing a search warrant on these medical offices
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in assistance with the drug administration agency and the houston police department. >> in houston, las vegas and beverly hills, investigators have been looking through medical records trying to reconstruct the long trail of drugs that leads from michael jackson to the doctor or doctors who gave them to him. what role did jackson play in obtaining the drugs? did he tell the truth to his physicians? did they ask the right questions or any questions? if toxicology tests reveal jackson died of a drug overdose, those questions will be key in determining whether or not any one will ever be charged with a crime in his death. and the issue isn't just michael jackson's addiction to drugs. it is also his addiction to doctors. how many doctors dirt he have? >> i mean, dozens through the years, you know? >> gotham chopra jackson's friend of nearly 20 years. >> michael, everybody knows, lots of different procedures,
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plastic surgery, medical procedures. he was also, michael used his celebrity. he would befriend doctors. he knew how to get t stuff that he wanted. >> meaning if he wanted some particular kind of drug he could get that too? >> yeah, yeah. he had all sorts of doctors all over, beverly hills, frankly, that, you know, like i said enabled him. >> addiction experts say that is both one of the perks and one of the curses of being a celebrity. >> people who are affluent and who can afford to see doctors on their own and pay for those visits on their own are going to have a greater ability to shop for medications. >> psychiatrist dr. david sach is ceo of promises treatment center, a successful and well-known drug rehab clinic. >> if you are affluent and successful you can go from doctor, to doctor, telling your story. many doctors are naive about the fact that their clients may be seeking drugs. >> some of those close to jackson say he had people around him who made sure that the
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singer always had access to doctors and drugs. >> one part of my job was to find a local doctor whenever we traveled. >> michael laparuke was one of jackson's bodyguards. >> some times in las vegas, san francisco, miami, we always had to find out who the hotel doctor was. then he would have conversations with the doctor. he would tell them he was in pain. and whatever prescription that they were to, able to arrange for him. >> jackson acknowledged he had become addicted t painkillers following this 1984 accident when his hair caught fire while he was filming a commercial. >> i am doing well and i am strong, as you may already know after my tour ended i remained out of the country undergoing treatment for dependency on pain medication. this medication was initially prescribed to cede the excruciating pain i was suffering after reconstructive surgery on my scalp.
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>> if that is true if that is when his drug use began then it is also true that michael jackson spent half his life as an addict. he did at least one stint in rehab. friends say it didn't last. and jackson's former bodyguard says he often saw his boss under the influence of narcotics. >> there were several times where he seemed to be out of it. where i had to literally take him, pull him out of a meeting and carry him back to his hotel room and phim in bed, unzip his boots. and loosen his shirt. then i would sit there for hours just to make sure he was still breathing. i watched over him. and that happened more times than i would care to talk about. but it did happen. >> in the aftermath of his death, it seems nearly everyone who knew about michael jackson's drug use, now says they tried to stop him from taking drugs.
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some maybe trying to rewrite their own personal history with the star. but clearly, some are also telling the truth. >> the other people who are close to him tried informal discussions, formal interventions, and unfortunately, i know today we are all sort of regretful maybe we didn't try hard enough, maybe we just couldn't get through to him the way we wished we had now. >> chopra saw a long line of people connected to the star who were anxious to give him whatever he wanted. >> as many people he had who cared about him, he also had probably five times as many people enabling him. and whether they were physicians who were aware that other people are writing prescriptions for him but that they would still write prescriptions or he had people frankly who worked for him or made money off of him and just wanted to make sure he could kind of keep on doing what he was doing. >> coming up. michael jackson starts demanding
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♪ >> when he died, michael jackson was in the middle of rehearsals for 50 soldout shows. a comeback tour designed to relaunch his sagging career. it had been 12 years since his last tour, and the entertainer often described as thin and frail had hired his body building friend, tv's one time incredible hulk, lou ferrigno to get him in shape. >> he was 126, 127 pounds.
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he did look frail to me. he looked lean he was rehearsing four, five hours a day. >> while they worked out jackson told his old friend that with the new tour came new pressure. >> he said, especially, all the stuff he was dealing with. the aggravation, finances, the tour, going to england, building a stage. new company. production company. >> sound like a lot of stress. >> yeah, huge. huge. >> do you ever worry about him? >> no. because he was excited. he couldn't wait to go to london and perform. >> rehearsal schedule meant that jackson who had gotten used to staying up late to work or play and sleeping during the day would have to alter his routine. his chronic insomnia made that proposition even more difficult. >> he complained he couldn't sleep. >> cherylyn lee is a nurse practitioner working with jacks jackson's children earlier this year when the star himself asked for her help with the sleeplessness.
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what's the most you ever saw him sleep? >> five hours. >> but five hours wasn't the norm? >> no. no. most -- when i watched him sleep, when i stayed overnight, it was just three hours. he jumped upf ater three hours. >> she says she checked jackson's bedroom in the rented mansion where he was ving and found it was too brightly lit, there was too much noise in the room because of the music jackson constantly played, and that the star drank too much caffeinated diet soda. but that wasn't the type of relief michael jackson was looking for. >> well, the night that he woke up after sleeping just three hours he was extremely tired. and because there had been a rehearsal. he said i am just tired. and i want something, i want the diprivan. >> you didn't know what the drug was? >> no. i had never heard of it. >> diprivan is brand name for propofol, a drug few had heard
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of before the case. a powerful anesthetic only used in operating rooms or other clinical settings. propofol isn't available as a pill. it can only be given. a white liquid, propofol is known in hospitals as milk of amnesia. because it will put someone out almost instantly and deeply. but that doesn't mean it's a sleep aid. >> it causes the state of sleepiness to sedation and given a larger dose it would cause anesthesia and profound state of sleep. all the way into coma. >> dr. brian lee is chief of an thesology at good samaritan hospital in los angeles. can you thing of any circumstance in which propofol would be acceptable as a sleep aid? >> no. never. >> dr. lee says propofol has a very narrow margin for error. >> what can go wrong when you a giving someone propofol? >> most common thing, the person
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would breathe shallow or not breathe at all. >> so it isot unusual that someone would stop breathing after taking propofol? >> not unusual at all. >> sources told "dateline" that michael jackson had faced the risk many time. that propofol was his sleep aid of choice and he made that clear to nurse cherylyn lee. >> he had this before? >> yes. as soon as it hits your vein i go to sleep. i said who gave it to you? >> and he said? >> he wouldn't tell me. >> she says she checked with the doctor and showed jackson the physician's desk reference listing the drug and possibly deadly side effects. >> i said this is a very serious medication. you said you keep telling me you want to be knocked out to go to sleep. the problem is being knocked out to go to sleep you might not wake up. >> what was his reaction when you told him you wouldn't give him the drug? >> he said can you find me someone. i will pay them whatever they want. can you please find me someone because i need to get some rest.
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>> did you find him someone. i said i don't know any one that would do this. there isn't any one that i know that would do anything like this. it isn't safe. >> then on father's day, june 21, four days before michael jackson died, nurse lee says her cell phone rang. >> the person who called, normally set up his apoints and said, mr. jackson needs to see you right away. how soon can you come? i said i'm in florida. and i can't come right now. what is going on. i can hear michael in the background saying, tell her half my body is cold. and half my body is hot. like it's internal. something going on internal. half of me is cold. half of is hot. >> as a nurse practitioner she suspected jackson was experie e experiencing the effects of a drug action on his central nervous system. >> something was totally off. and i didn't know exactly what. i said you need to go to the hospital.
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>> there is no record of jackson going to the hospital that day. and what medications he may have taken reman a mystery. as does the role of the fi session who was treating jackson in his final days and in fact on the very day he died. dr. conrad murray. coming up -- among many other questions, how closely was dr. murray monitoring michael jackson during his final critical moments? how long between when dr. st me tla ihed a last time he d jackson? ha ve jackson? fivesominutes? ten minutes? one minute? when "dateline" continues. offering up to $4500 ward a new car with an eligible trade-in. plus, toyota is offering factory incentives omany models for even more savings. with toyota being the most dependable and fuel-efficient car company in america, it's no wder 25 models in the toyota family qualify. so hurry in to your toyota dealer today.
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in may of this year, dr. conrad murray came to work for michael jackson as his private physician for jackson's upcoming tour. >> michael believed he needed a doctor. and the agency, the production
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company, agreed to pay one. >> dr. murray's attorney is ed chernoff he says jackson and murray were more than just clinician and patient. >> dr. murray was a friend before he was doctor. they had a relationship since 2006. michael jackson recommended him and the production company agreed after some hackling over what it would cost. jackson's concert promoter said the star had a rapport with dr. murray and murray's attorney confirms that. >> he had been friends with michael jackson for years and he agreed to it -- essentially as a favor. >> but it was a little more than just a favor. in this letter written just ten days before jackson died, and obtained by date line, murray wrote to his patients. explaining that he had been offered a once in a lifetime opportunity. and was ceasing the practice of medicine indefinitely. but that wasn't completely true.
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he was suspending his medical practice indefinitely so he could treat only one client, michael jackson. the pay being discussed was $150,000 a month. conrad murray, 56 years old, came to medicine later in life than most physicians. a native of grenada it wasn't until he came to houston in the 70s that he thought of becoming a doctor. after med school in tennessee and california he opened a private cardiology practice in las vegas and later a clinic in houston for people who couldn't afford expensive medical care. with jackson, murray began with a checkup. >> one of the things that dr. murray did almost immediately when he took over is, the job, was to do some blood tests to make a determination about whether his liver, his heart, were, were within acceptable
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ranges. it was his impression that michael jackson was in good health. at least acceptable health. ♪ it was even before dr. murray joined team jackson that the star had begun strenuous rehearsals for his upcoming tour. no one has claimed that jackson was unable to do what he needed to do to perform. dr. murray's attorney describes a slightly lessener jettic perform performer. >> what was the state of michael jackson's health on that last day? >> he was a frail man. he didn't like to drink or eat. he wasn't always, exactly healthy to begin with. but he was -- as healthy as he normally is. he wasn't suffering from any viruses or cold or anything like that. >> and jackson was dealing with some difficult issues. >> michael jackson had specific medical problems that when dr. murray began as his doctor in may of this year, his private physician, he inherited those problems.
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and anxiety was a problem for michael jackson as a result of the tour he was going to be doing in europe. he was under a lot of stress. he was going to do a lot of dates in a short period of time. >> jackson was also coping with the same insomnia he described to nurse lee. >> true that the doctor frequent leap used to sit in the room, sort of at the edge of the bed or near bed when mr. jackson slept? >> on occasion, yes. >> because the doctor thought that was a good idea or mr. jackson felt more comfortable? >> the way mr. jackson wanted it lots of time. >> an lapd source tells date date, dr. murray admitted giving michael jackson propofol, the powerful surgical anesthetic that jackson regularly used as a sleep aid and dr. murray did not introduce the drug to jackson. he had used propofol many times before, police found it his bedroom. the morning michael jackson went into cardiac arrest, sources say dr. murray administered the propofol and then began monitoring his only patient. he stayed in the room while
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jackson slept. leaving only briefly and then returning. >> at 11-something, i don't know exactly. some time before noon, on the 25th, thursday, he went to check on michael jackson and observed he was not breathing. which was obviously a surprise to the doctor. so the doctor felt, made sure he was still warm. he was. he checked for a pulse, found a weak pulse. then proceeded after verifying he was still not breathing, started giving him cpr. >> in this interview, conducted just days after jackson died, attorney chernoff refused to name the drugs dr. murray had given to michael jackson. at this point, propofol had not yet surfaced as a possible cause of jackson's cardiac arrest and death. since then, attorney chernoff
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has neither confirmed or denied whether dr. murray administered propofol to jackson saying only that dr. murray did not give michael jackson anything that should have killed him. how long between when dr. murray entered the room and realized mr. jackson wasn't breathing, and the last time he had seen mr. jackson? five minutes? ten minutes? one minute? >> it had been minutes. >> presumably whatever happened to mr. jackson just happened when the doctor came in the room? >> yeah, i think that is reasonable to assume. he was still warm. he still had a pulse. >> he says that's when dr. murray began cpr. mr. jackson was in bed at this point? >> he was in bed. the doctor gave him cpr. worked on him for ten minutes or so. trying to resuscitate him. trying to get him to breathe on his own. and he, he wouldn't do it. at that point, the doctor realized, dr. murray realized he needed some help.
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and that he sought out help. and, and, 911 was called and an ambulance came. >> he is on the floor, where is he at? >> on the bed. on the bed. >> let's get him on the floor? >> a soft surface like a bed isn't the best place to perform cpr. chernoff said that murray moved jackson to the floor. >> did mr. jackson say anything to dr. murray before he was stricken? as he got into bed? did he say i'm tired? i don't feel well? something is wrong? >> i can't go into specifics about conversations and the like. i can say this -- there was there was nothing that dr. murray observed that would lead him to believe he had any physical problems. that he wiz under distress in some way. that he was unr diress in some way. >> so what caused michael jackson's heart to stop? was it the propofol?
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or the propofol combined with something else? or some other medical condition peculiar to michael jackson? coming up -- more alarming revelations about that incredibly tricky drug. you use propofol any place ro t dghee?ic wll rllo dice? >> it's russian roulette. >> when michael jackson inside the final hours continues. i have say to me,
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the legendary king of pop michael jackson passed away thursday. >> since michael jackson's death. five weeks ago. his family, fans and much of the public have been waiting impatiently for hard answers about why he died. >> there was no indication of any external trauma or any indication of foul play on the body of mr. jackson. >> early on the l.a. county coroner's office declared that the autopsy of jackson's body didn't tell them much. since then, that office has been trying to determine what killed jackson and how, not only by collecting items from his house and his doctor's offices but through chemical analysis of what was left behind in jackson's body. >> in the case of michael
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jackson, where drugs are suspected, then a complete evaluation of the blood and the fluids and any tissues need to be done. >> bruce goldberger is a professor of toxicology at the university of florida. and a veteran of tens of thousands of toxicology examinations. he believes the tox results in jackson's case will be the key to understanding what killed him. although propofol is the drug we have been learning about, toxicologists here in los angeles actually screened for a wide range of drugs, from drugs of abuse look cocaine and hair within to prescription drugs, sedatives or anti-seizure medications. even for over-the-counter drugs, basically anything that might affect the central nervous system. but the test for propofol is the most important. because as we have reported, police say jackson's dr. conrad murray told them he had given propofol to jackson that morning. and because propofol is so
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powerful, with so little margin for error. if the finding comes back, propofol overdose, tat will mean that the tox report found propofol in his blood? becausethat's where it first comes? >> that's right. bah the drug is administered through a vein into the blood. the drug then goes to the brain where the site of action is. but still the best measure of the drug and its effect on the body will be in the blood. >> goldberger says there are tests that might also determine if jackson used propofol at other times besides on the day he died. >> if a hair sample was available one could test segments of the hair and determine if the use of propofol by michael jackson was acute, a single episode, or chronic, or repeated episodes of that drug. >> remember nurse lee says jackson asked her for propofol back in april of this year to help him sleep.
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and at that time, jackson was already familiar with the drug. but goldberger says if jackson was regularly using propofol to sleep he probably wasn't getting what he really wanted. >> well it is a ridiculous use of a drug. for one thing the type of sedation that one achieves with propofol is not the sameype of sedation if you call that, when you sleep. so one would be exhausted after multiple repeated doses of propofol. because you are not getting sleep. >> so, all of the benefits of sleep, which is the rest to your body and the dreaming doesn't happen with propofol? >> no, it is not going to happen with propofol. >> so jackson might have been craving sleep more than ever. it is also possible he was addicted to propofol. >> it does produce euphoria. so, i have thought about this with michael jackson. while he was using it to sleep,
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it's also very euphoric. >> maybe there than just trying to sleep better? >> there might be some pleasure associated with the use of this drug. we know that people report feeling very euphoric, they feel very good when they use this drug. so while he feels good and euphoric and he gets a chance to sleep, he may also use this drug to help copy with problems in his life. and it is addictive. it can be abused. and we know there are cases of medical professionals who do abuse the medication. >> addictive how, if you don't get it. you suffer withdrawal? >> if you don't get it. you crave it. you want it. >> sir, we have a gentleman here that needs help. he is not breathing. he is not breathing. we need to, we are trying to pump him. he is not. >> okay. >> if he used the drug over a period of time jacksonould also have developed a tolerance to propofol says goldberger which means if he was having it fed into his blood stream continuously just to get a night's sleep the star may have
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needed just a little more every n and then for propofol to work the way he wanted it to. making that home use of propofol even more perilous. >> often times we think the anesthetic is more dangerous than the procedure itself. i would assume that is the same with propofol. it is very dangerous to keep someone at an adequate blood level so they don't die. and of course in this case they don't wake up. very tricky. >> if you use propofol any place beside the hospital or surgical setting -- what you are rolling the dice? >> it's russian roulette, really. there is a good chance that's eventually you are going to lose. >> coming up -- in fact it is so risky that using it the way jackson did seems almost inconceivabou o hw many times have y administered propofol in somebody's home? >> never. >> have you heard of it happening? >> never. o... old! they are rollover minutes. they are as good as new.
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police began their investigation of michael jackson's death by saying dr. conrad murray, a personal physician at jackson's side when heap died w he died was a witness not a suspect. that may be changing. last week, police and dea agents searched dr. murray's houston office, the warrant authorizing that search said officers were looking for evidence that would support a charge of manslaughter. >> the two officers that are here are from robbery homicide division. >> the first time police suggested dr. murray might face charges though the jackson family and those close to it have been talking about a criminal case since before jackson's funeral. did dr. murray do anything medically wrong? if he did was it so wrong that
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it passed a legal threshold. the questions will be at the center of the debate as this investigation continues. as we have said, police tell "dateline" that dr. murray admitted administering propofol to michael jackson because jackson, murray's only patient demanded it. that is a decision about which dr. murray is likely to face plenty of criticism. this is allou need to administer propofol? >> that's right. >> dr. brian lee is chief of anesthesia at good samaritan hospital in los angeles. could any doctor use this to administer propofol? >> absolutely t. only those who have a familiarity with using propofol, managing airways. >> sounds to me like better to have an anesthesiologist administer propofol. >> absolutely. i would trust propofol, anesthesia without an anesthesiologist. >> dr. conrad murray is not a specialist in anesthesia. dr. lee is.
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how long have you been an anesthesiologist? >> i have been in anesthesia for 20 years. >> how many times have you administered propofol in somebody's home? >> never. >> have you ever heard of that? >> never. >> how many people have come to you and said i need propofol because i need to sleep better? >> never. there are better alternatives. >> can you think under which propofol would be acceptable as a sleep aid? >> i cannot say that. >> dr. lee's view is shared by most medical professionals with propofol's thin therapeutic window, the risks of developing a shallow breath or no breath or rapid drop in blood pressure are simply too great. a doctor would have to intervene quickly. he or she would need the right tools to do so. dr. lee says that before propofol can be safely administered, certain basic medical standards have to be met. at a minimum, he says, a patient receiving propofol intravenusly would have to be hooked up to an e.k.g. to measure heart rate.
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and to a pulseoximeter to measure oxygen in the blood and to a blood pressure monitor. is there any way that propofol should be administered without the three devices? >> absolutely not. not in year 2009. >> but sources tell "dateline" that's close to what happened. dr. murray did have a pulseoximeter, but michael jackson was not measured with a e.k.g. or blood pressure monitor. after dr. murray discovered michael jackson stopped breathing he began to perform cpr. significant that was the only method available to resuscitate jackson. any doctor and anyone who has ever been to an emergency room knows there is plenty of medical technology that might have saved michael jackson. might have restarted his heart. kept it beating. but that technology wasn't available that day. in that house. would being proficient in cpr
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qualify as proper preparation for something going wrong with having administered propofol to a patient? >> in the event the patient develops a fatal arrhythmia, cpr would not be adequate? >> you need more? >> absolutely. >> defibrillator mechanical device. >> it is more effective than cpr. >> there was no defibralator available to restart jackson's device and no bag device to keep jackson breathing artificially. >> can you conceive of giving somebody propofo without having all the devices present. >> absolutely not. epineprine, lydocane, and ephedrine are present in every hospital in america, used to raise heart rate and respiration in an emergency. dr. lee describes the four drugs
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as a bare minimum required to have on hand when propofol is administered. lapd source says only lidocine was present in michael jackson's home. all of that may be a problem for dr. murray. but here is the problem for prosecutors. together the drugs, medical devices and training in an thesology may represent ape basic standard of med qual care but they're not legal requirements. any case against dr. murray would have to argue not that his care of jackson was illegal but it was reckless. he should have known jackson could be harmed by the propofol and the lack of safe guards. and if the coroner rules that jackson's death was either an accident or can't determine why he died it is possible no one will ever be charged in connection th his death. but it appears that dr. murray himself knew that what he was doing was risky. according to a source within the investigation, murray told police that when jackson first
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asked for the propofol months ago, dr. murray was reluctant. but then, against his better judgment, he said, he gave in to the star. and gave jackson what he wanted. that was more than ate month before michael jackson died on june 25th. a source tells "dateline" that by then, dr. murray had been giving the singer propofol nearly every night for six weeks. dr. murray and his attorney have said that murray did not administer any drug to michael jackson that should have killed him. and that murray should not be a target of criminal charges. the tox screen should reveal what did kill michael jackson. and if the tests point to propofol, legal questions now will revolve around the risks of using that drug and what dr. murray knew of them. coming up -- what charges could what would you do for a klondike bar?
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>> in 1997, michael jackson released a song called "morphine." ♪ don't cry >> written after he had been to ruled his life. >> close your eyes and drift away, demerol. >> but demerol was not one of the drugs found in jackson's home in the days after he died. sources told "dateline" he had by then moved on to the anesthetic propofol. a source close to the investigation tells "dateline" that police are working off the assumption that jackson died from an overdose of propofol. and that jackson's personal physician, dr. conrad murray, both supplied propofol to jackson and administered the final fatal dose. this ek police and dea agents went through dr. murray's las vegas home. the warrants authorizing that search say officers were seeking
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evidence supporting both a manslaughter charge and also infractions of medical rules including prescribing to an addict. in their search to find who gave michael jackson propofol, sources say that besides murray, police are looking at five other doctors and one nurse practitioner, ms. lee. lee told investigators and "dateline" that jackson had asked her for diprivan, brand name for propofol, and she refused to give it to him. >> dead you ever give him that drug? >> no. >> never, not that time not any other time? >> no. >> police say that they have heard from other people that you did give it to him? >> well, i don't know how they could say that. because i did not give him diprivan. i didn't give him any drugs at all. >> a police source says that so far lee's paperwork support her story. just yesterday, dr. allen metzger came forward to say that
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in april he also said no to jackson when he asked for propofol. earlier this week, at the las vegas home of dr. conrad murray, police confiscated printed records and computer flash drives looking not just for evidence of propofol, but also for a myriad of other drugs prescribed for jackson under as many as 20 different names and aliases. those names include jackson's own and some others all mo as famous, josephine baker, jack london, prince jackson, the singer's son, also on the list, people in jackson's entourage including that personal chef he hired, kai chase. >> to find out that something of this nature of -- you ow, using other staff members' names to prescribe medications it's appalling. >> dr. murray's attorney, ed chernoff says he and his client won't answer any of the accusations against dr. murray
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publicly ltiun the autopsy results are released which the l.a. county coroner's office now says are postponed indefinitely. it's ben a steady diet of bad publicity for dr. murray who closed his medical practice so he could treat a superstar entertainer. but whose private life has now become public. he has fallen behind on the mortgage for his las vegas home. and his attorney says murray is essentially unable to earn a living as a physician while the investigation is ongoing. he is facing possible foreclosure. but that pales in comparison to the dangers of a criminal case if murray is charged with manslaughter. jeanne rosenbluf, is a former prosecutor. >> involuntary manslaughter can result when some one intends to do something lawful, the administering of drugs, but does it with such dwroes negligence that somebody has died as a result and therefore crosses the
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line into criminal behavior. >> the toxicology tests when released may exonerate dr. murray. if not they could point the way for a defense. >> one other thing that could come to pass and we just don't know yet is let's suppose that michael jackson died with a number of drugs in his system. the defense attorney could say, assuming that dr. murray only gave him one of those drugs, look, this, this drug is not necessarily what killed him. it was the combination. i'm not responsible for those other drugs. i didn't know he was taking them. defense attorney could also say -- i have given michael jackson propofol 1,000 times and nothing ever happened. this was just a fluke. ♪ this won't hurt >> one of the hardest questions to answer in awful this is what role michael jackson might have played in his own passin nobody ever wants to blame the victim even in this case where it seems everyone's decisions appeared to revolve around the
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one man who won't be telling his side of the story. ♪ demerol for the latest on the michael jackson investigation, you can log on to our website, the address is now a story about celebrity and tragedy that centers on one of chicago's hometown heroes. he and his long time girlfriend were expecting their first child. few could have predicted their story would end the way it did. here is rob stafford. >> reporter: if there is a lesson in the story you are about to hear -- >> nobody should ever have to go through this. >> reporter: if there is a question that lingers. >> jealousy. that has to be jealousy. >> it may boil down to this. do we ever really know the people we hold close? and itch not, what will the consequences be? >> i felt awful. just not having her there.
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>> reporter: at the center of this story, an attractive couple. a famous ex-football player, a chicago bear. smart, and very charming. and ronnie, rider, a fitness fanatic, stunning, stylish and very sweet. her brothers, wade and thad adored her as did their wives, annie and laura. >> you felt happy being with her. >> ronnie is the person you see that you would want to be. she was everything. she would do anything for anybod >> she was very caring. always thought of other people. she thought of her nieces, her nephews. everybody. us, called us every night. that's just the way she was. >> even after ronnie left their hometown in wisconsin, and moved 200 miles to chicago, she stayed very close to her family. including her nieces and
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nephews. >> christmas time wanted to be there for the kids. wanded to be santa claus. handing the presents out to the kids. watch them open their presents. she just loved christmas. she loved being with family. she loved going to the kids' events. >> there was a warm tenderness, ronnie brought everywhere she went. >> she had a big heart with plenty of room for many devoted friend. but perhaps at its center, shawn gayle. the two met in plattville, wisconsin where ronnie want to college and shawn practiced football at a training camp. back then a member of the iconic, '85 bears team that won the super bowl. da-bears as they became known were lionized across the country. >> super bowl champions! >> and shawn was part of all that. >> for the most part they were just together all the time. they talked every day on the phone. they took trips together. >> they seemed to make it work. the adored pro athlete. and the girl from a small town living in the big city.
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eventually, juggling two jobs. one in the food industry. the other at macy's. and then in march, 2007, after many years together, ronnie became pregnant at age 41. she had finally become a mother. truly a dream for her. she was elated. which was obvious when wade and laurie visited ronnie in chicago that september. >> it was the happiest i had ever seen my sister in my life. she was glowing. >> her family thought she might never be able to have children. so the baby, a girl was an unexpected gift. her name was going to be skylar. >> to us when she got pregnant that was a miracle. skylar was going to be our little miracle baby. >> as far as they knew, shawn was supportive of ronnie during the pregnancy. i did ask her, how is shawn taking it all? are you going to the doctor and stuff? she said, yeah, he comes to the doctor. >> engaged in the pregnancy? >> yep. >> ronnie was a woman in love.
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this was no conventional relationship. though she had been with shawn for close to two decades they never lived together. and it was unclear that would change. even after the baby arrived. >> she talked about moving in with him. to make it easier for the baby, for as far as handling the day care. but i don't know where they were at with that. that was the last i had hea. >> did she want to get married? >> yes. >> did he? >> i don't know. >> anna would ask ronnie how she could stay with a man so long and not live together or be married when she wanted that so much? >> we always came backment i just love him. what is it about him? i don't know what to tell you, anna. i love him. >> how did the family feel about their relationship? >> i didn't know really that much about shawn to tell you the truth. alls i know is she loved him to death. that was her soul mate. her one person she wanted to be with for the rest offer life. >> in fact, shawn rarely saw ronnie's family over all those years. >> all ronnie ever wanted was
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for shawn to be part of our family and to get to know us. she would have loved it if he would have embraced our family and -- just -- just took the time to get to know us. >> wasn't like she wanted him to visit us every weekend or anything. just the holidays. he was invited to every holiday at our place. >> did he come? >> no. >> did that bother you and the family? >> yes it bothered us. >> what did you make of it? >> we just knew ronnie said shawn was a private person. she'd say he was gone. over in europe. whatever. doing nfl europe. she never really talked a lot about him. >> rather strange for a woman who came from a home where family was so important. just what was going on? so much more really than anyone knew. coming up -- were there other women? >> she mentioned shawn gayle this is who she was seeing? >> seeing? >>heti answer would have a ictrag and deadly outcome.
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shawn gayle and ronnie rider together two decades never lived together or married. now ronny was pregnant with their child. a new chapter for any couple, but for this one, things were far more complicated than they appeared. for starters, there were other women in shawn's life. surprising that women would find him attractive, of course not. who wouldn't like shawn gayle. >> shawn has always come across as an intelligent, forth right, charming man. and, you know a guy that you would look to know. >> what more says bruce wolf, a sports reporter in chicago for 30 years, shawn gayle is still a part of football royalty being a
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player for the '85 bears. home town heroes who still rule years later in a city with many professional sports teams. the '85 bears' easy win at the super bowl along with their cockiness made them all immor l immortals wolf says, including shawn gayle who made a key fumble punt recovery. as shawn's football career was ending he made a move that polished his image even more. in the mid 90s. shawn combined his notoriety and college degree in education with his love of sports and christianity. writing children's books called shawn gayle's sports tales, stories with moral messages based on christian values. he talked with bryant gumbel on the "today" show about why he wrote the books? >> wanted to get the message i was trying to get across to them. >> which was? >> that perseverance, applying yourself, listening to older people instructi you on how to
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live your life, understanding good and bad, right and wrong. >> while shawn was promoting his books about good and bad, right andwrong, he was also quite the lady's man. >> professional athletes have fame, power, money, they're good looking in great shape, and they're going to get women. >> shawn was no different. even though ronnie was his long-time girlfriend she wasn't the only woman he was seeing over the years. one was monica karawska, a fitness model he met, another marty yang, divorced mother of three, brokering real estate for him and aspiring fitness model as well. >> someone that is promoting sales of fitness equipment like we see on tv all the time. >> photographer jason stowler met her in a quick shoot in her garage. her children were there, twins, a buy and girl, 15 at the time. and a younger son, age 10. >> how was she with her kids?
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>> i saw a very in control mom. protective of her children. that communicated very well. and was even really, really liked by her children's friend. >> he took more than 1,000 photos of marnie during four shoots in '06 and '07. although then nearly 40, marnie in great shape. >> good muscular development. feminine without being overly developed. marnie was driven. looking for success in real estate. looking for success as a fitness model. >> was the modeling about ego or make money. >> both. this woman was trying to make all the money shoe could for her and her family. >> jason says marnie loved the camera. >> she has fun. she enjoys her self. she pushes herself. she wants to shoot and shoot and shoot. >> jason's girlfriend. miranda bowman did marnie's make-up. >> i was stunned by how tiny she
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was. no more than a size 2. incredibly energetic. driven. motivated had a lot of interests, athletic, skydiving. scuba diving. these things. >> she was fascinated by police work. even applied twice to be an officer. but was turned down. still she was very active in the chicago police department's neighborhood watch program. >> she talked about wanting to make sure her neighborhood was safe and being concerned about her children's safety. >> one day they say marnie brought up a subject that caught jason's aten. the chicago bears. >> she alluded she was involved with, from what she told me, with one of the bears' super bowl football players. >> jason says the man's name was one he knew well. >> she mentioned shawn gayle, she was involved in real estate transactions with him and this is who she was seeing. >> seeing. >> seeing. from what she said it led me to believe they were intimate. she did indicate to me she knew shawn was involved with other people. so obviously it was clear it
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wasn't something exclusive. >> marnie had shown up at some of the shoots with a man she described as a family friend and she was in fact seeing a few men. but it appeared that it was shawn she was really interested in. and on her last shoot in the winter of 2007, jason says marnie arrived with an outfit and request. >> she said, i wore this specifically, i would look to get some pictures specifically for shawn. it said chicago bears on the front. and it said chicago bears on her butt. she wanted to take some pictures in this outfit for shawn. >> it's not clear what or how much ronnie ryder knew about marny or the other women in shawn's life over the years. but she was still his girlfriend. still the woman he took to bears events. and her family says he was still the love of her life. but she might have been suspicious because at one point she started receiving anonymous letters. with a warning abut shaun.
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>> describing the fact that he was not only seeing this one particular woman but seeing many women at the same time. >> shaun said the letters were full of lies, the work of some one out to make him look bad, harass them. who had sent them? and would they be a soon of something far more sinister to come? coming up -- gunfire. and disaster. >> just overwhelming. it was terrible. >> the lives of ronnie, shaun and the child they were expecting wou never be the same. the country at red lobs. from the northeast, try our new maine lobster and crab bake, with garlic-roasted tender maine lobster, jumbo shrimp, scallops, and a full half-pound of snow crab legs. or from the south, try our new orleans... wood-grilled shrimp jambalaya, simmered with creole seasonings. taste these regional dishes for a limited time. at red lobster.
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>> former chicago bear shaun gayle had been involved with several women at once. his long time girlfriend ronnie ryder had been getting letters accusing him of being a womanizer. now she was pregnant. >> the last picture i have of her. the baby was moving. she said mom come and feel my tummy, the baby is moving. i will never forget that. >> last pictures of ronnie, sadly, yes. photos when her family
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visited in september, 2007 are treasures now. less than three weeks after this was tan ronnie was dead. were it was murder. ronnie had been shot seven times as she opened the front door of her condo early one october morning. >> i just remember dad calling and he said your sister, it was a homicide, your sister is gone. that was probably the most angry i have ever been my life. i was in an uproar. i wanted to go down there get the person. i wanted to grab them myself. and dupe what they did to my sister. >> the news was devastating. ronnie ryder and her unborn baby were gone. her whole family was distraught. but no one more than ronnie's parents. their grief was hard for her brothers to bear. >> nobody should ever have to go through this. nobody should ever have to see their mom, a mom that was like a mountain for us, turn into a mole hill. >> it was like, she, she didn't want fewive either.
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dad actually said it too. why couldn't it be me. i have lived 65 years. why does it have to be our daughter. you should never outlive your children. >> the family brought ronnie back to potosi to be buried. it seemed everyone came to say good-bye. >> then at the wake it was just overwhelming the people. the people came in. came in. never stopped. nonstop for i don't know how many hours. it was just, just hard to see her laying up there. on a slab like that. you know? that is your sister. >> soon after the funeral, thad wade and their wives drove to ronnie's condominium outside chicago to pack her things. >> we walked in. it was stark quiet. and cold. and empty. and it was just -- it felt awful. all of her stuff, but not her. it was awful. >> she had all the baby clothes that people had gotten her.
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were on a great big table next to the kitchen. >> and see bullet holes in the floor where my sister was murdered. it was terrible. >> who would do this to your sister? >> the devil. the only person i could ever think of. >> were there any enemies at any timein her past? >> none i know of. she never created any enemies we know of. and why would someone want to dupe thdo this to her? what's the reason? and i couldn't come up with any. other than she is pregnant and possibly someone wanted, you know her out of the way. that was the only conclusion i came to. >> it certainly looked that we to police in deerfield, illinois. the upscale chicago suburb where ronnie lived. known for high test scores and low crime rates. deerfield hadn't seen a murder in more than 30 years. now a woman was shot in her own home. police noticed there was no forced entry.
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>> any sign of robbery? >> none. >> police didn't know it yet, but something was taken from the scene, something very personal. which would ultimately provide a clue about the motive. deerfield police chief john sleosis says the fact seven shots were fired said a lot about the crime and a lot about the killer. >> the sheer number of shots would indicate that there was some emotion, there was something driving the shooter. >> it appeared to be personal. in all likelihood, the victim could have known the offender. >> lab tests showed all seven bullets came from one 9 millimeter handgun, a weapon that makes a lot of noise. but the neighbor who called 911 said the shots she heard were muffled, perhaps a silencer were used. >> what does that tell you about the killer? >> planned. calculated. took steps to be discreet. >> apparently not discreet enough. right after the killing, a witness saw some one leave the front entry way, quickly walking
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to a black car. >> description of the suspect? >> young man, small in stature. dark hair. seen running or walking at a quick pace across the parking lot. >> the suspect dressed in baggy clothes and looked like a teenager. a black male teenager. as the investigators looked for some one fitting that description they looked aels where too. >> you go into it with an open mind. that old police adage everybody is a suspect. >> including ronnie's long time boyfriend, former chicago bear, shaun gayle. as soon as shaun heard about the murder that day, he came right in to talk with police. >> what did he say? >> obviously was, in great distress, emotional. crying. not in a physical state of shock, but just really in a kind of state awe that, that it could have happened. why did it happen. who could have done this? >> at the time of the murder, shaun told police he had been
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driving about 40 miles north of chicago to get his haircut. at a barber shop favored by chicago bears' players. his alibi checked out. but as police quickly came to believe shaun was not a suspect in ronnie's murder it became a clear he would remain central to the case. one woman in his life was dead. and now police were going to take a hard look at the others. a web of tangled relationships was about to unravel. and twisted emotions would be revealed. coming up -- reading between the lines. the women in shaun's life come under the microscope. >> she would capabnofvidual capable of doing something like this. >> capable of this type of murder? >> yes. crest pro-health provides unbeatable protection
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the murder of ronnie ryder in her own home stunned deerfield, illinois, a quiet upscale suburb. police ruled out ronnie's long-time boyfriend shaun as a
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suspect. he remained central to the case. par fix laerl because a series of anonymous let ears but shaun and other women arifd at ronny's door the year before she was killed. and police learne similar letters had been sent to other people in shaun's life. >> they were isn't to other female acquaintances of shaun gayle describing the fact he was seeing this one particular women but seeing many women at the same time. accusing him of using women just for his personal gain and satisfaction and just basically trying to dissuade the other lady from seeing him. >> "dateline" obtained some of the letters which not only contain angry allegations of his cheating and lying, but also include copies of what are reported to be very personal e-mails between shaun and the women. as well as supposed travel itineraries, indicating shaun had taken foreign trips with two
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different women less than two months apart. shaun said the letters were filled with lies. but did they include clues to the killer's identity. one was written in poor english as if by an immigrant. shaun thought of monica, who had moved off to the states from poland. the fitness model he met at a chicago bears event and dated for several months. and that relationship had ended badly in may 2006. in papers filed in court, shaun said monica reportedly banged on his window breaking it. soon after that, the letters started to arrive. assuming it was monica sending them. shaun took out an order of protecttion against her. the letters continued. it seemed to shaun, monica was violating the order and as a result she was threatened with deportati deportation. the harassment continued for more than a year including details, his womanizing sent to participants in a charity event
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benefiting an organization for abused women. shaun designated celebrity ambassor. at the time he wanted monica jailed or fined for apparently vip lating the order of protection. the request coincidentally was filed in court the same day ronnie ryder was killed. >> does monica sound look a spurned lover? >> initially, yes. >> jealous? >> yes. >> motive? >> s. >> but monica denied any involvement with the letters and e-mails and was denying any involvement in the murder now. police checked her alibi and confirmed she was training a fitness client at the tomb of the shooting. in fact their investigation found that she did not write the letters and had been wrongfully accused by shaun. monica was never deported. fined or jailed. as she was being ruled out. police began to investigate someone else, another woman, listed in the letters. the real estate agent who polesed in that little chicago
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bears outfit. a few callers had mentioned her name. >> three phone calls from people who gave the name of marnie yang? >> yes. >> the information they were leaving? she would be an individual capable of doing this because of the relationship he had. >> capable of this kind of murder? >> yes. >> one caller described her as a person with a grudge and a gun. >> she had carried guns in the past. had a temperament of revenge or certainly knee jerk anger responses. >> the chief says a check of court records uncovered more orders of protection but these involved marni yang. including one against her by a married chicago policeman she had apparently had an affair with. >> he had some real concerns about his own safety and wanted to distance himself from the woman. >> heap is a police officer? >> yes. >> the officer said marni sent a
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harassing letter to his wife, threatening his life, career and marriage. he feared for his safety and the safety of his family. >> did you ask shaun about marni yang? >> yes. he described a working relationship. he knew her through real estate deals she had brered for him. as the investigation continues. i think the investigators found out it was certainly a business relationship but there was a dating relationship. >> at the tomb of the murder had there been any confrontation between marni yang and shaun? >> they were talking and seeing each other. >> the investigation found that the two spent time together a his home the evening before ronnie was killed. marni brought him dinner and stayed for a while. did shaun gayle know anything about the history of the woman in his life. investigators were getting an earful. but in the weeks after the murder, detectives were learning from people who knew marni about what they describe her obsession with men over the yearsnd how
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she acted when she dent get her way. her relationship with the married police officer was but one example. turns out, that behavior went all the way back to her teen years. >> she felt that she wasn't getting the attention she was looking for. she would get very angry about it. >> melissa disent, a close high school friend in the 80s said marni had quite a temper especially when it cam to boys. >> she was a very intense person when she was interested in something, she became some what fixated on it. she was very into boys -- very into herself, you know, everything is about me. type of attitude. >> melissa says sunday evenings marni and her friend would hang out at a local club. then go out for fast food. but for marni, the night was beginning. she would drive everyone home and this one guy who lived by my house, a block away, she would drop him off last and they would
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have sex in her car. and then she would show up at my house at about 1:00, 2:00 in the morning. knock on my window and stand and talk to me through the window for an hour or two at a time. >> boys, sex, obsessive behavior sometimes morphed into stalking melissa says. later when marni wentway to one college her summer boyfriend went to another and soon found a new girlfriend. melissa says marni didn't like that. not one bit. >> she was stalking him long distance. she would drive over on the weekend to where he was at away at school and randomly show up. i believe she was also calling him repeatedly and sending him letters as well. >> eventually marni met her future husband, a young man, yen yang, a cambodian refugee taken in and cared for by an american woman when he cam to the states as a chide. >> marni's family loved him. he was really nice.
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easy going guy. you know nothing ruffled his feathers. very, very nice stable steady person. >> yen stayed with marni's family during school breaks. but after he and marni got engaged melissa says he found marnsdiary, and what he found almost ended their relationship. >> marni had a history of writing down her conquests with boys. and he got quite irate over what he found because when she met him she had told him that she had only been with one other guy before him. and it happened to beep the guy that she was stalking at the other school. >> she says marni told him she made everything up. it was all a fantasy. yen was so upset he called off the engagement which sent marni over the edge. >> she was hysterical. absolutely hysterical. crying. unconsoleable. her and her mother cooked up
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hiss story that somehow managed to satisfy him. and keep him with her. she called me and said to me, if he calls you or shows up at your house, don't tell him anything. >> yen came back. they married. in 1990. but at marni's bachelorette party at a club with male strippers, melissa says marni was up to her old tricks. >> her and a stripper had apparently taken a liking to each other. he invited her into the back room after he was done dancing for free sex backstage. she became withessed with the stripper, after she had come back from her honeymoon. she had wanted to go back and have sex with him again. >> melissa says marnitok che t s back to the stripper but she was so disgusted by marni's behavior and look to yen, melissa ended their friendship and lost touch.
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marni and yen divorced in 1997. marni was working in real estate. and now police were learning more about marni's relationship with shaun. a caller told them it was marni who had written angry letters about sha and made it seem as if monica had. marni boasted monica had been threatened with deportation. disturbing reckless behavior if true. this was the person shaun gayle was spending time with. did he have any idea what she was capable of? could yang have become so obsessed, emotions distorted she crossed the line and would commit murder? coming up -- a startling trail of evidence. and, a startling admission from a child. >> he told the investigators that she somehow might be involved. >> his own mother might be involved in the murder of ronnie ryder. >> very unusual response. ty up!
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in the weeks after ronnie ryder was shot to death police did not have enough evidence for a warrant to search marni yang's house. so they decided to search her
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trash in the alley. no warrant needed. inside, unopened credit card bills. which turned out to be a gold mine. >> purchases you wouldn't expect to find on someone's credit card bill, most notably some books on how build silencer. >> huh to build a silencer. >> yes two books paid for a credit card and overnighted. she spent more to have those delivered i an expeditious manner than for the books themselves. >> a recipe f a home made silencer with ingredients found at any hardware store. and detectives noticed a purchase from home depot. >> as they investigated the receipts through the store they found it was the same materials listed in the book. >> 13 items including a drill, screwdriver, tape, and plastic pipe. when were the books purchased? >> august. couple months before the murder. >> when were the materials purchased? the day she received the books.
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what does that tell you? >> some type of plan in place she wants to act quickly no matter what the plan might be. >> evidence of a silencer. what about the gun? they found someone who had gone with marni to a local gun range for target practice. her weapon, a 9 millimeter. the same type used to kill ronnie ryder. three months after the murder, policeoved in with a warrant to search her house. and brought in marni yang and her children for questioning. >> how did she react? >> relatively calm. obviously in a state of denial. didn't have any information of any note that could be offered. >> did you ask her about the books? >> yes. >> what did she say? >> she bought tho in preparation of a science project for one of the kids at school. >> a science project on making silencers? >> did you ask the kids. >> the investigators knew the books were purchased during the summerment school was not in session. so, what she was saying didn't make sense.
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she later changed her story that she actually bought those as a gift for an acquaintance of hers. >> police say marni didn't say much. but she did offer an alibi. >> she was home sleeping, went to bed early that night. got up late the next morning. the actual time of the homicide. and was home during the entire sees of events that we are investigating. >> did you ask the children about the alibi? >> yes. the son said she was home. but never saw her in or about the house. >> the older son did not back his mom's alibi. that was surprising enough. but they were startled by what he said next. >> he told the investigators that after hearing and seeing the story on tv, some of his friend brought it to their attention, one of his gut reactions is that she some how might be involved. >> his own mother might be involved in the murder of ronnie ryder. >> correct. unusual response. for a isn't to do that i think, every investigator was thinking that's an honest response, the
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son would have no other reason to answer that way. >> strong circumstantial evidence, but nothing to tie marni yang directly to homicide. police had to release her without filing any charges. for months, as they tried to build a stronger case, police kept an eye on marni to make sure she didn't flee the country. they also kept her identity a secret. ronnie ryder's family didn't know it was a woman, shaun gayle may have been seeing that might be the killer and the police were closing in. >> dad would say in your day you might see the person caught. in my time i will never see this happen. never see hem caught. >> did you have any sense of how this would end? >> no. >> i had no idea. >> police had more than an idea. in fact they thought they had enough evidence to arrest marni yang. a pattern of jealousy threats. a relationship with shawn gale. ties to a 9 millimeter handgun. and books on how to make a silencer. but that was not enough for the
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prosecutor in the case. lake county illinois state's attorney michael wahler. >> one of the questioned i asked was can we put marni yang anywhere near deerfield the october morning of the murder. they said no. i said okay that is a problem. >> there was another problem. >> we don't have any physical evidence tying her to the scene. >> blood, hair, anything. >> no physical evidence. >> had half of the twin pillars f a circumstantial case. motive. marni's anger a how badly she felt he treated her. and jealousy of ronnie ryder his public girlfriend who would soon have his baby. if they had motive, they lcked proof that marni yang had the opportunity to commit the crime. >> there was that gray area where we had several conversations, what more do you need? what can we try? where do we go fom here? >> when we discussed them. we said, have you checked all potential avenues, you know, rental cars, disposable cell phones.
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which is what they did? >> police searched a rental car database. and found that even though marni owned a car, she rented a black vw and returned it a few hours after the homicide. the same color car seen at the crime scene. what's more, a check of gas station surveillance video, showed a black vw, coming and going near ronnie's condo around the time of the murder. and one more piece of evidence, the rental record listed a contact number which detectives discovered was for a disposable cell phone bought at a wal-mart a week earlier by marni yang. >> and there was at least one call that placed her in the vicinity of deerfield on the day of the murder. >> she has motive. now you have opportunity. >> right. >> but the prosecutor wanted even more. it was time for a sting. coming up. a bold plan few go undercover to catch a killer.
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almost a year had passed since rohni ryder and her unborn baby were killed. still no arrest. prosecutors wanted more proof that marni yang committed the crime. they knew she had a history of sharing private details with friend. the deerfield police and lake county illinois major crimes task force decided to try to catch marni talking about the shooting.spending months prepar a wiretap thashgs brought in one of marni's friend who had been brought in before. >> i think the gut reaction from investigators were that if marni told anybody this was going to be the individual. and i think their sense was that
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she had knew more than she was letting on. >> in fact, "dateline" learned that marni told her friend she thought about killing shawn, the object of her anger but changed her mind and stuck with her plot to kill only rhoni, the object of her jealousy. what else did marni tell her friend? police intended to find out. >> after a pretty extensive interview, self hours, she finally did admit that marni had discussed with her a plan to kill her, to kill rhoni ryder and also discussed with her, after the fact, how she did it and what she did. >> and the story she told was a bombshell. the black teenager seen leaving the scene of the crime was really marni yang, she said wearing a cornrow wig, baggy clothes and black make-up. she said marni told her she encased the mder weapon in cement and thrown it in a dumpster. there was another detail police say only the killer could know.
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>> marni told herthat when she was leaving the murder scene, that rhoni's legs were in way she had to reach down and push those out of the way to close the door. >> police asked the friend if she would wear a wire and talk face to face with marni yang. >> no reluctance. she agreed to do it. >> wearing a wire in the first operation of its kind in lake county illinois, the friend met marni at a deny any restaurant. with unmarked police cars outside, and undercover officers inside, investigators listened in and heard marni describe them as stupid suburban morons. she also talked about the killing of rhoni ryder. >> she describes how rhoni opened the door and how she opened fire on her. again getting into detail only that shooter would know. >> powerful evidence the prosecutor has not yet released to the public. but one other piece was even more damning, investigators say marni had stolen something from
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rhoni's condo that morning a bued it. with the friend's help. police located the spot and found the item which would physically tie marni yang to the crime scene. it was something personal, a bracelet like this. >> small, beaded bracelet with the word "pregnant" a friend later identified that bracelet as belonging to rhoni. >> case closed. >> probably the definitive piece of evidence that the investigators had been looking for, for 16, 17 months. >>olice arrested marni at her home the morning after the meeting at denny's. on that day in early march, marni yang had little to say. >> in the end, marni yang's own words led to her being arrested. for first degree murder. >> prosecutors charged marni with multiple counts of murder for killing rhoni and her unborn child, she pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail. her attorney did not return
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repeated phone calls. but he said previously, marni yang will vigorously defend herself at trial. >> it was an assassination. her motive was jealousy. as much as must have enraged her she was able to carry out this crime and plan it and cover it up in a very calculating and cold-blooded fashion. >> the arrest brought the ryder's relief. and tonishment that the person accused of murder was a woman and mother of three. rhoni's family is haunted by what she went through in the final moments of her life. >> the worst for me is knowing rhon opened the door and saw a person standing there with a gun and screamed knowing that she at that moment knewshe was in danger. >> the ryders say they also struggle when they think about the web of relationships and warped emotions that led to rhoni's door. shaun who cooperated fully with the investigation and provided
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police his help says he is still mourning the deaths of rhoni and the daughter they were to have. he declined our request for an interview but after marni's arrest he publicly denied that he and marni dated only that she had apparently had a crush on him which he says he knew nothing about. >> when i sit down and think this happened because someone had a crush. it makes no sense to me. she never expressed a desire an overt desire for more than our friendship. other than the occasional attempt to invite me to a social function which i always turned down because it wasn't that type of relationship. this was based on trying to get rhoni out of the way so she could possibly foster a relationship. if i had given her the dating relationship that she wanted, this tragedy may not have happened. >> ngled relationships, toxic emotions, twisted actions -- how well do we really know the people in our lives?
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the full truth in this case should come out at marni yang's trial. no date has been set. but when it is -- rhoni's brothers say they will be there for the niece they will never know, and the sister they will never forget. >> i want her to look right at me. i am going to look right at her and stare a hole through her like it is a bullet hole. >> marni yang is scheduled to appear in courtext week. again she has pleaded not guilty. you can hear more from rhoni ryder's family at that's all for this edition of "dateline" friday. we're back for "dateline" sunday, 7:00, 6:00 central. i'm ann curry. for all of us he the distce from the field to your table just got shorter. because at safeway, there's always... freshly picked produce at great prices. it's 100% guaranteed to be fresh and ripe, every time. so hurry in for delicious goodness, all right down the street.


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